Former IRDR SC Member, Allan Lavell, Wins 2015 Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction

Allan Lavell_Sasakawa 2015(Sendai, Japan, 17 March 2015) Former member of the IRDR Science Committee (SC), Prof. Allan Lavell, was tonight announced the winner of the 2015 United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The Sasakawa Award is awarded to individuals or organisations nominated by their peers for demonstrating excellence in reducing disaster risk for a safer, more sustainable world. The Head of the Sasakawa Award Jury, Prof. Dr. Murat Balamir, said the following of Prof Lavell’s work: “This personal performance is a perfect example of how grand achievements are possible with individual dedication, despite humble resources and grants. The enduring and most influential individual efforts of Mr. Lavell, in undertaking various roles in a multi-actor environment, make him a leader in the DRM community.”

Prof Lavell was among the designers of the Science Plan for IRDR and has been playing an important role in preparing the scientific community for the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (3rd WCDRR) and the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.

Throughout the years he has remained committed to IRDR, providing his insights not only to the members of the IRDR SC but also to the Assessment of Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (AIRDR) and Forensic Investigations of Disasters (FORIN) and the project working groups, the latter of which he is a co-chair.

IRDR supported Prof Lavell’s nomination for the Sasakawa Award to which Prof David Johnston, Chair of the IRDR SC, said: “The emerging field of global integrated disaster risk science has significantly benefited from his knowledge in our mission to develop trans-disciplinary, multi-sectorial alliances for in-depth, practical disaster risk reduction research.”

“Shaping the Future” was the theme for the 2015 UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction to focus on individuals or organisations distinguished as agents of change, who are able to act ahead, possess a willingness to tackle uncertainty, are inclusive in their interactions with society and sensitive to new voices. For the 2015 award, there were a total of 88 entrants, 33 of which were selected for the long list. Prof Lavell has been judged as someone that embodies the theme of this year’s Award.